Homicides in Philadelphia Are on Worst Pace in a Decade

Slayings rose above 100 in 2020, the highest total at this point on the calendar in 13 years

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The murder rate in Philadelphia this year is at its highest in more than a decade, as deadly violence continues unabated despite citizens having spent the last month in lockdown.

The number of people killed in the city so far this year stands at 106. Four people died in separate incidents in less than 24 hours since Sunday evening. A 2-year-old child was also shot in one of the attacks.

"This is a struggle from before the COVID time," Mayor Jim Kenney said Monday, noting that the gun culture in the city and poverty is contributing to the continuing violence.

Kenney's managing director, Brian Abernathy, said the police department is deploying even more officers on street duty.

"Violence is not new in the city," Abernathy said. "Unfortunately, while our overarching crime rates are down, we recognize our violent crime rate is up."

The most recent killings were a woman stabbed to death in her home in West Philadelphia on Easter Sunday early evening and two men shot to death in separate gunfire late Sunday into early Monday, police said.

The city's total through April 12 is the highest it's been since 2007. That year finished with 396 murders. Since 2016, homicides in Philadelphia have risen each year.

Crimes in most violent and property-related categories are up in 2020, though recent weekly totals have been down, according to statistics tallied by the police department.

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